MEDIA ALERT: Two More Years of Bundy Trespass
For immediate release, April 5, 2016
Contact: Michael Connor, Western Watersheds Project (818) 345-0425
Kirsten Stade, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) (240) 247-0296
Erik Molvar, WildEarth Guardians (307) 399-7910
Two More Years of Trespass: Bundy’s Cows Still Trampling Tortoise Habitat
Reseda, CALIFORNIA – Hundreds of cattle are still on the loose two years to the day after the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) began rounding up Cliven Bundy’s cattle in the Gold Butte area of southern Nevada. Forced by armed militants to release the penned cattle at the famous standoff under the highway bridge, the BLM has not endeavored to finish the job and, in fact, has stated there is no immediate plan to revisit the area.
“Cliven Bundy is in custody but his cows are still on the loose on public lands that were designated as conservation areas for threatened desert tortoises back in 1998," said Michael Connor, California Director of Western Watersheds Project. "Livestock were supposed to have been removed 18 years ago. It’s high time for the BLM to finish the job and remove those cattle."
“Cliven Bundy’s livestock were ordered off these key desert tortoise habitats because they were incompatible with habitat protection, and the long-overdue removal of the cows is a necessary step to give the habitat a chance to recover and give the desert tortoise a leg up on survival,“ said Erik Molvar, wildlife biologist with WildEarth Guardians.
Cattle have direct and indirect adverse effects on desert tortoise, ranging from trampling tortoises and their eggs, trampling tortoise burrows and trapping tortoises underground, removing the nutritious vegetation that tortoises need to survive, and facilitating increased numbers of ravens that eat hatchling tortoises. The lands around Gold Butte are considered “critical habitat,” a specific geographic area that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has determined is essential for the conservation of the species.
“Grazing trespass is a form of theft. In this case, the Bundy clan is taking public resources to which they are not entitled,” said Kirsten Stade, Advocacy Director for Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER).
The BLM has indicated it has no plans to reinitiate the round-up of Bundy’s cattle.
Western Watersheds Project, Inc
PO Box 1770
Hailey, Idaho 83333
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